PARIS (Reuters) - Paris-based telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent unveiled plans on Tuesday to cut about 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2015 in a cost-cutting drive to save 1 billion euros and reverse years of losses.
WHAT ALCATEL-LUCENT DOES
Alcatel mainly builds and develops telecommunications networks and related equipment for network operators - such as Verizon or AT&T - and other enterprise customers.
Recent deals include a contract to help build a next-generation 4G wireless network in Spain for Telefonica and a contract to supply mobile-broadband technology for a 4G network roll-out in China.
A ROCKY HISTORY
Alcatel-Lucent was created from the merger of France's Alcatel and U.S. firm Lucent in 2006, against a backdrop of global competitive pressures that also led to a similar tie-up between Nokia and Siemens to create Nokia Siemens Networks.
But the combination of the economic downturn and persistent price pressures meant Alcatel-Lucent found itself in a series of restructuring plans, job cuts and profit warnings.
THE JOB-CUT PLANS
The cuts announced on Tuesday are across all regions, with 4,100 jobs to go in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 3,800 in Asia-Pacific and 2,100 in the Americas.
It is not the first job-cuts plan at Alcatel-Lucent: in 2012, it said it would axe 5,000 jobs and in 2007 it announced 12,500 job losses.
The drive is being spearheaded by Chief Executive Michel Combes, who took the reins of Alcatel-Lucent in April. He is the third CEO to try and right the company's keel.
Combes, 51, was previously head of UK network operator Vodafone's Europe arm and between 2006 and 2008 headed French broadcast operator TDF. Before then he was chief financial officer of France Telecom.
Combes is a graduate of the elite French science-focused Polytechnique.
Alcatel has only reported one year of profit since the merger, in 2011, ending every other year in the red.
In 2012, Alcatel swung to a full-year net loss of 1.2 billion euros, hit by lower sales in Europe and China, and an impairment charge.
Alcatel-Lucent shares are currently trading about 75 percent below their 2007 highs but they have had a volatile run over recent months.
Since end-March, with the arrival of new CEO Combes, Alcatel shares have almost risen threefold, to 2.93 euros.
Some of the rally has been linked to hedge funds closing short positions, or bets that the stock will fall, in an environment of mergers and acquisitions for the telecom sector.
Alcatel competes with Sweden's Ericsson, China's Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks.
A recent wave of investments in 4G in Japan, Korea and the United States has so far favored Ericsson but fresh investments in China have given a boost to local players Huawei and ZTE.
EXPECTATIONS FOR 2013
Alcatel is expected to report an uptick in full-year 2013 revenues to 14.57 billion euros from 14.44 billion last year and to swing to an operating profit of 142 million from an operating loss of 260 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
(Compiled by Lionel Laurent)
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